Welcome to Designing Happiness (into your life), by Chuba & Chine Ezekwesili. We’re the co-founders of Akanka - a design consulting, lifestyle, and media studio. We design happiness. Big claim yes? Yes. We believe happiness can be designed into everything. So what better way to demonstrate this than to apply it to the one thing that matters to us all - our lives.

Designing happiness into your life requires you to reframe how you think about your life. Imagine your life’s a car. Now imagine this car has the latest engine, shocks and brake pads...but has a faulty steering wheel. This car's one drive away from an accident. A great car is the sum of each part working optimally together - how well they all work together matters more than how well they work individually.

Your life, like a car, is a system that needs each part to work optimally. These parts are your physical health, mental health, relationships, career, finances, productivity, spirituality, etc. Your life isn't designed optimally if you have a great job and a troubled personal life. Or if your physical health is top-notch but you're consistently troubled by your poor finances. When any of these parts is broken, it's hard to live a happy life. One part can affect the entire system. Therefore, once you think of your life as a system and design each part to work effectively, you’ll be designing your happiness.

Like every process, designing happiness into your life requires steps. You need to have a clear sense of how to move from point A to point D - you need a roadmap. This roadmap should pass two criteria. First, it must be scalable. There’s no point coming up with a process for designing happiness into life that’s only available to some and not others. Second, it must lead everyone down their own unique path. No two roadmaps are identical because we’re all different people with different energies (even identical twins). So how do we design a process that’s scalable and similar in approach yet unique in outcome to each individual? By taking advantage of the design thinking process.

The design thinking process is a process for creative problem-solving. At its core, it seeks to answer the question, ‘How do we design a product, service, solution that solves the user's needs?’ At the core of the answer to this question is a requirement to be user-centric i.e. focused on what's best for the user. So we thought to ourselves…why don’t we treat ourselves as the user, try to discover who we are and what needs fixing in our lives. What does it look like when we observe, define, ideate, prototype and test what it’s like to design happiness into these integral parts of our lives?

So we did just that and discovered that by applying the design-thinking process to each part, we’re able to improve the entire system that is our lives. Our discovery is the knowledge we seek to share with you, so you can start the journey of designing happiness into your life. Knowledge carries the most impact when it’s available to everyone, so we’ll be sharing sections and chapters as we write this book.

This way you pretty much get to read our book for free and you can immediately apply the lessons to your life. 💪🏾The energy goes both ways as we hope you’ll leave comments so we learn what parts of your life you’d like to redesign, what’s working for you and what you’d like clarification on. We’re learning as we go, and we’re excited to do this with you. ❤️

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